Oral Health and Nutrition

A Word From Dr. Stewart: Could Oral Bacteria Be Linked to an Increased Risk of Pancreatic Cancer?

Posted on October 3, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Hygienist, Dental Treatment, gum disease, Gum Surgery, LANAP, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, pancreatic cancer, Periodontal Disease, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , |

Dr. Daniel Stewart at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandThe British Dental Health Foundation published a report yesterday that gum disease and pancreatic cancer may be associated with one another. The study found that certain types of bacterium in gum disease are linked to a 2 times higher risk of developing pancreatic cancer. However, this is not to be confused with oral bacteria that is not harmful. If you have been told that you have periodontal disease, please don’t wait for it to further affect your health and well-being. Smile Savers Dentistry offers an excellent, proven alternative to gum surgery… more on that in a minute.

Researchers are saying that while they can’t yet prove that gum disease increases the risk of pancreatic cancer, the new research shows there is definitely evidence that there is a significant relationship between the two. It is not certain if certain bacteria found in gum disease is a cause or a result of pancreatic cancer. Breaking this down to the simplest point … this is yet another indication that good oral hygiene is crucial to one’s overall health. Did you know that only 4% of pancreatic cancer patients live for more than 5 years?

If you have been diagnosed with gum disease or feel you should be evaluated, call our Columbia dental office immediately for an appointment at 410-730-6460. Smile Savers Dentistry offers LANAP which is an FDA approved laser alternative to gum surgery. This laser-based approach to treating gum disease makes it easier for you to return your gums to health and the process is far more comfortable than gum surgery. You can visit our LANAP website for more information on this non-surgical treatment for periodontal disease.

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A Word From Dental Hygienist Natalie: What is Your Mouth Telling You?

Posted on August 15, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, General Dentistry, Gum Surgery, healthy teeth, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, Smile Savers Dentistry, Xerostomia | Tags: , , , , , , , , , |

Dental Hygienist Natalie at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandWhen it comes to your overall health, your mouth is a good indication of what may be going on on the inside. Head on over to the mirror every week or so and take a peek. Changes in your gums or saliva could point to some unseen health issues.

If your gums are bright red, puffy or have small abscesses it could mean that you have gum disease. If there is pus or blood when you brush you may have some sort of bacterial infection which could be a sign of something more serious. Your dentist will want to take a look to confirm if you are having serious issues.

Stick your tongue out! If it’s pale in color, you most likely have iron-deficiency anemia. If you think you may be anemic your doctor can confirm this with a simple blood test. Eating plenty of green leafy vegetables, seafood, meat and beans (or a vitamin supplement) will help increase your iron.

Prescriptions and over the counter drugs could be causing dry mouth. If your saliva is thick or stringy, then you have dry mouth (xerostomia). If dry mouth is left untreated it can lead to gum disease, tooth decay and oral yeast infections. You will want to talk to your dentist or doctor about your dry mouth and medications.

If you have any questions about your oral health, feel free to stop by or call me or Dr. Stewart at the dental office here in Columbia.

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A Word From Dr. Stewart: We Did It!

Posted on August 8, 2012. Filed under: General Dentistry, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , , , |

Dr. Daniel Stewart at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandJust wait until you see the new Smile Savers Dentistry reception area in person. We have been told that it feels like a spa. Calming and soothing, like a dental office should be. And don’t forget the coffee bar and free Wi-Fi while you wait!

Yes, we remodeled the front desk in only one week. With the help of the staff and Dream Design and Build Remodeling we were able to bring the front desk and reception area into the present time and man, I am still shocked when I open the front door in the morning!

Besides a more esthetic and functional front desk, I have also updated the back by installing wireless intraoral cameras. These cameras allow you and me to see more clearly how healthy you are. Many recent new
patients are amazed at how advanced and modern our dental office is, and how much they learn about their oral health when they come here.

This is optimum dentistry in a comfortable environment, something for which I have strived for over … gulp … 24 years. So, if you know of anyone who needs help – get them in here to experience excellent dentistry in a “spa-like” environment. We will take great care of them!

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A Word From Dental Assistant Carolyn: Spit Happens!

Posted on June 27, 2012. Filed under: Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, Smile Savers Dentistry, Xerostomia | Tags: |

Dental Assistant Caroyln at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandYou may not realize it, but saliva has some important functions in the mouth. Saliva kick-starts the digestive process and helps cleanse the teeth. Dry mouth, or xerostomia, happens when you don’t have enough saliva in your mouth. Most people experience this at some point, but constant dry mouth requires further investigation. People with dry mouth may experience constant sore throat, problems swallowing and difficulty eating. The lack of saliva to wash away food particles and neutralize the plaque in your mouth may lead to bad breath and an increase in tooth decay.

Antihistamines, decongestants and almost 400 other medications can cause xerostomia. A quick call to your pharmacist will tell you if your medications cause this. There are also diseases that trigger dry mouth so it is important to seek medical advice from your dentist and doctor. There are rinses, toothpastes, moisturizers available to help with the symptoms. You can also drink more water through the day, avoid salty/spicy foods and use a humidifier at night. Although these tools won’t cure the problem, they help a great deal and will make you more comfortable.

For answers to your additional questions about dry mouth, contact Smile Savers Dentistry near Ellicott City, MD.

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A Word From Dr. Stewart: A Healthy Mouth

Posted on May 30, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Treatment, General Dentistry, Kids Dental Health, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, Smile Savers Dentistry, Teeth | Tags: , , , , , , , , |

Dr. Daniel Stewart at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia MarylandMany of you who have been with me for a while understand that prevention is the best way to keep your oral health from deteriorating. On your “new patient” visit we gather all the data and form a treatment plan that will get you into optimum health. I tell you that my goal is to get you healthy as fast as possible and then put you on a regimented maintenance program so you don’t have to worry about emergency treatment or losing teeth.

What I have found is that fifty percent of you actually do this but the other thirty percenters don’t do the maintenance part. This worries me. Why spend all of that time, money and nervous energy getting the dental work done and then don’t maintain it? Nothing in this world stays the same, just look at my hairline.

So starting this month I am making it our duty here at Smile Savers Dentistry to contact those of you who have fallen off the wagon. Don’t get mad at us if you are called a few times, just call us back and make the appointment or give us a really good excuse why you can’t. We have two great caring pro-active dental hygienists Beth and Natalie who are awesome and are here to help keep you healthy and on track.

Don’t be one of those patients who needs to call me on the weekend!

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A Word From Dental Hygienist Beth: Smart Snacking = Healthy Teeth

Posted on April 25, 2012. Filed under: Dental Health, Dental Hygiene Tips, Dental Hygienist, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, Plaque, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , , , |

Dental Hygienist Beth at Smile Savers Dentistry in Columbia Maryland
What’s wrong with sugary snacks?
Sugary snacks are so yummy to eat – but they aren’t good for your teeth, or your body. Candies, cakes, cookies and other sugary foods can cause tooth decay, but what you may not know is that starchy snacks like potato chips can also break down into sugars once they’re in your mouth.

How do sugars attack your teeth?
Bacteria live in your mouth in plaque on the surface of the teeth. When you eat sugars, the bacteria take the sugar and turn it into acids. These acids attack the enamel on your teeth. That’s how cavities begin. If you don’t eat much sugar, the bacteria can’t produce as much of the acid that destroys enamel.

How can I protect myself from cavities?
Before you choose a snack, ask yourself what’s in the food that you’ve chosen. Is it filled with sugar? If it is, make a better choice! Chewy foods stick to your teeth and stay in your mouth longer than foods that you can quickly chew and swallow; they give your teeth a longer “acid attack.” Acid attacks can last as long as 20 minutes. This means that the more times you put sugar in your mouth during the day, the more often you fuel bacteria that cause cavities.

Right after you eat sugars … in any meal or snack … brush your teeth with a fluoride toothpaste. And, the next time you are about to eat that cookie, eat a handful of nuts instead!

For additional questions about sugary snacks contact us at Smile Savers Dentistry near Ellicott City. We’re here to help!

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A Word From Dr. Stewart: Sugars, Carbs and Oral Health

Posted on April 4, 2012. Filed under: Childrens Dental Health, Dental Health, General Dentistry, Kids Dental Health, Kids Oral Health, Oral Health, Oral Health and Nutrition, Smile Savers Dentistry | Tags: , , |

Since opening our diet center Figure Savers, I have really begun to take a harder look at what is being put in our bodies as a form of nutrition. We have always been told that to keep our teeth healthy and cavity free we should minimize our sugar intake and refrain from in between meal snacks. But what I have witnessed is that most people don’t have a real understanding what a sugar is so they can’t minimize it.

All carbohydrates are sugars. Pastas, flour, potatoes and breads are examples. The body takes in carbohydrates and turns it into sugar. It doesn’t differentiate. Four grams of carbohydrates equal one teaspoon of table sugar. Fruit juices and fruits are sugar. Orange juice is pretty much all sugar. One 8 oz glass contains 26 grams which equals to 6 and a half teaspoons of sugar… pretty eye opening!

When I first opened the dental office 24 years ago, the average teenager had maybe one cavity, now I am seeing 3-5 as the average. Decay is rampant again and I believe it is from all of the sugars that we are consuming without knowing about it. I say count those carbohydrates and divide by four and put it in terms of teaspoons… and you will take control of your tooth decay as well as your belly.

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